Learn how to configure the plugin

The Material Theme plugin comes with a bunch of features tailored for an optimal experience. However, it is also highly configurable to allow each and everyone to customize it to their hearts content.

Themes and Color Schemes

Theme Switcher

The plugin comes prebundled with a set of themes interchangeables through the Theme Switcher Theme Switcher.

Theme Switcher
Theme Switcher

There are many ways to invoke the Theme Switcher:

  • From the IDE menu Tools -> Material Theme -> Material Theme Chooser
  • From the Main Toolbar
  • From the Search Everything dialog, type Material Theme
  • From the Quick Switch panel (Ctrl + \`) (Windows: Ctrl + ~)`
Quick Switch
Quick Switch

Or, since version 2.4.0, from the Settings at Settings -> Appearance -> Material Theme.

Switcher in Settings
Switcher in Settings

Note that this dropdown won’t show the External Themes.

The plugin comes prebundled with 15 themes:

Material Themes

These themes are based on the Sublime plugin’s, made by Mattia Astorino (@equinusocio)

  • Oceanic

    An oceanic blue flat theme

  • Darker

    A pitch-black flat theme

  • Lighter

    A bright light flat theme

  • Palenight

    A purplish flat theme

  • Deep ocean

    A deep sea black flat theme

Other themes

Besides the Material Themes, there are also other prebundled themes made by the community:

  • Monokai pro

    Theme based on the Monokai Pro Theme

  • Dracula

    Theme based on the Dracula Theme

  • Github

    Theme based on the GitHub UI

  • Arc dark

    Theme based on the Arc Dark GTK Theme

  • One dark

    Theme based on the Atom One Dark theme

  • One light

    Theme based on the Atom One Light theme

  • Solarized dark

    Solarized Dark Theme

  • Solarized light

    Solarized Light Theme

  • Night owl

    Theme based on Night Owl by Sarah Drasner

  • Light owl

    Theme based on Light Owl by Sarah Drasner

External Themes

The plugin also defines an endpoint allowing plugin developers to create and bundle their own custom themes, just like Color Schemes, Keymaps, Coding Styles and so on. To learn more about External Themes or how to create your own plugin, head to the External Themes section.

Once the external theme has been downloaded and installed, it should appear at the bottom of the Switcher

External Themes
External Themes
External Themes List
External Themes List

Custom Theme

Finally there are the Custom Themes, which is the placeholder for the Custom Theme Settings, allowing you set your own theme colors.

There are two options available, Custom Theme for themes based off the Darcula LaF, and Light Custom Theme based off the IntelliJ LaF.

See Custom Themes for more information.

Material Theme Settings

Settings Page

You can configure many parts of the plugin features from the plugin settings. They are accessible within Settings -> Appearance -> Material Theme.

Material Theme Settings v1
Material Theme Settings v1

Since version 2.4.0, the settings page has been remade to prevent overwhelming the user from the abundance of customization options.

Now settings are differentiated between basic and advanced settings, they are grouped within tabs, and a Reset Settings button has been added for easy factory resetting.

Material Theme Settings V2
Material Theme Settings V2


Quick summary of all settings:

Main Settings:

  • Selected Theme: Select a Material Theme skin (will not display External Themes)
  • Contrast Mode: Add contrast to specific panels and components.
  • High Contrast: Set a darker color of the backgrounds and lighter color of texts for more contrast
  • Custom Accent Color: Set a custom accent color.
  • Override Accent Color: Change the accent color accordingly to the selected theme
  • Configure Custom Theme Colors: Open the settings page for the Custom Theme Colors.

Tab Settings:

  • Active Tab Highlight Color: Customize the active tab’s indicator color
  • Thickness: Set the active tab’s indicator thickness (works also for the Project View selected row)
  • Uppercase Bold Tabs: Set the Editor Tabs in Bold Upper Case
  • Tabs Height: Set a custom height for tabs (between 25 and 60 pixels)
  • Tab Color Opacity: Adjust the opacity of the custom colors in tabs (for File Colors)
  • Tab Position: Customize the position of the tab highlighter
  • Font Size: Control the size of the Editor Tabs (requires restart)

Compact Settings:

  • Compact Status Bar: Reduce the height of the status bar (this is the default height)
  • Compact Table Cells: Reduce the height of table headers and table cells
  • Compact Dropdown Lists: Reduce the size of the dropdowns
  • Compact Menus: Reduce the size of the menus

Icons Settings:

  • Material UI Icons: Enable/Disable the Material UI icons
  • Hide Icons: Hide file icons (depends on the Material Icons option)
  • Monochrome Icons: Filter the IDE icons with a shade of the current theme’s primary color
  • File Icons: Enable/Disable the Custom File Icons
  • Folder decorators: Decorate special folders with custom icons.
  • PSI Icons: Replace PSI Icons (class, interface, etc)

Project View Settings:

  • Custom Sidebar Height: Set a custom line height in Project View (min: 18, max: 30)
  • Custom Tree Indent: Fine tune indent of Project View items (both left and right indent)
  • Arrows Style: Change the style of the arrows in trees. Choices:
    • Material: Chevron arrows
    • Darcula: Triangle arrows
    • Plus-Minus: Plus and Minus symbols
    • Arrows: Regular arrows
    • None: Hide the arrows
  • Selected Indicator Style: Change the style of the indicator of the selected item in trees
    • Border: Add a small border to the left
    • Dot: Add a dot on the selected item
    • None: Remove the indicator
  • Thickness: Control the thickness of the indicator
  • Custom Directories Style: Assign a specific style to directories. Can be configured from the Material File Colors settings page.
  • Font Size: Fine tune the font size of the project trees (requires restart)

Component Settings:

  • Uppercase buttons: Set the buttons’ texts to uppercase
  • Transparent Scrollbars: Enable/Disable transparency in scrollbars (requires restart)
  • Accent Scrollbars: Set the color of the scrollbars to the accent color (requires restart)
  • Accent Mode: Make components stand out by setting them in the accent color (buttons, tabs, selections…)

Features Settings:

Other Tweaks:

  • Hollow Folders: Enable/Disable the Hollow Folders in Project View.
  • Theme in Statusbar: Show the currently selected theme in the statusbar.
  • Themed Title Bar: Colorize the title bar of the whole OS with the current theme’s background color (Mac-Windows only)
  • Language Additions: Enable/Disable the Language Additions
  • Colored Open Directories: Colorize open directories with the accent color

Settings shortcuts

You can also quickly toggle some settings by using the Search Everywhere or the Command Panel functionality of the IDE. Simply press Shift-Shift and type Material Theme to get the list of available toggles.

Same goes for the Command Panel (Ctrl-Shift-A/Cmd-Shift-A).

Command Panel
Command Panel

You can also use the Keymap Editor to assign your own custom shortcuts to these toggles.

Settings File

Your current configuration is stored inside the IDE settings’ directory under the filename material_theme.xml. If for some reason there are issues with the plugin or you don’t manage to reset to a stable state, just delete this file and restart the IDE.

See IDE Settings for more information.

Material Custom Theme

Aside from the bundled themes, you also have the ability to set up your own Material Theme. You can do so by selecting Custom Theme in the theme list, then customize the theme colors in the settings page at Settings -> Appearance -> Material Custom Theme Settings.

Material Custom Theme Settings
Material Custom Theme Settings

Once you set these colors, simply select the Custom Theme in the Material Theme Chooser and see your colors take effect.

See Custom Theme for more details.

Advanced Configuration

Here’s a list of the keys used in the configuration file (material_theme.xml) with their default values. If a key isn’t in your file, it means that it uses the default value.

  <!-- Accent color -->
  <option name="accentColor" value="E91E63" />
  <!-- Arrows style -->
  <option name="arrowsStyle" value="Material" />
  <!-- Accent scrollbars -->
  <option name="accentScrollbars" value="true" />
  <!-- Accent Mode -->
  <option name="accentScrollbars" value="true" />
  <!-- Whether or not to send data analytics -->
  <option name="allowDataCollection" value="false" />
  <!-- Language Additions -->
  <option name="codeAdditionsEnabled" value="true" />
   <!-- Colored Open Directories -->
  <option name="coloredOpenDirectories" value="true" />
  <!-- Compact dropdowns enabled -->
  <option name="compactDropdowns" value="false" />
  <!-- Custom sidebar line height enabled -->
  <option name="compactSidebar" value="false" />
  <!-- Sidebar line height if enabled -->
  <option name="customSidebarHeight" value="28" />
  <!-- Themed Title Bar -->
  <option name="darkTitleBar" value="false" />
  <!-- File Icons enabled-->
  <option name="fileIcons" value="true" />
  <!-- File Status Colors enabled-->
  <option name="fileStatusColorsEnabled" value="false" />
  <!-- File icons hidden -->
  <option name="hideFileIcons" value="false" />
  <!-- Tab highlight color -->
  <option name="highlightColor" value="E91E63" />
  <!-- Tab highlight color enabled -->
  <option name="highlightColorEnabled" value="false" />
  <!-- Tab highlight thickness -->
  <option name="highlightThickness" value="2" />
  <!-- Indicator Style -->
  <option name="indicatorStyle" value="Border" />
  <!-- Indicator Thickness -->
  <option name="indicatorThickness" value="2" />
  <!-- Compact menus -->
  <option name="isCompactMenus" value="false" />
  <!-- Compact status bar enabled -->
  <option name="isCompactStatusBar" value="false" />
  <!-- Compact table cells enabled -->
  <option name="isCompactTableCells" value="false" />
  <!-- Contrast mode enabled -->
  <option name="isContrastMode" value="false" />
  <!-- Custom tree indent enabled -->
  <option name="isCustomTreeIndentEnabled" value="false" />
  <!-- Decorated folders enabled-->
  <option name="isDecoratedFolders" value="true" />
  <!-- High Contrast -->
  <option name="isHighContrast" value="true" />
  <!-- Material components enabled -->
  <option name="isMaterialDesign" value="true" />
  <!-- Material Theme styles enabled -->
  <option name="isMaterialTheme" value="true" />
  <!-- PSI Icons enabled -->
  <option name="isPsiIcons" value="true" />
  <!-- Styled folders enabled -->
  <option name="isStyledDirectories" value="false" />
  <!-- Whether to show the wizard at start -->
  <option name="isWizardShown" value="true" />
  <!-- Left tree indent  -->
  <option name="leftTreeIndent" value="6" />
  <!-- Monochrome icons -->
  <option name="monochromeIcons" value="false" />
  <!-- Override accent color enabled -->
  <option name="overrideAccentColor" value="false" />
  <!-- Right tree indent  -->
  <option name="rightTreeIndent" value="6" />
  <!-- Selected Theme -->
  <option name="selectedTheme" value="OCEANIC" />
  <!-- Last selected tab in the settings -->
  <option name="settingsSelectedTab" value="0" />
  <!-- Status bar indicator -->
  <option name="statusBarTheme" value="true" />
  <!-- Tab Highlight Position -->
  <option name="tabHighlightPosition" value="Default" />
  <!-- Tab Opacity -->
  <option name="tabOpacity" value="50" />
  <!-- Transparent scrollbars -->
  <option name="themedScrollbars" value="false" />
  <!-- Project View Font Size -->
  <option name="treeFontSize" value="12" />
  <!-- Project View Font Size Enabled -->
  <option name="treeFontSizeEnabled" value="false" />
  <!-- Tab Font Size -->
  <option name="tabFontSize" value="14" />
  <!-- Tab Font Size Enabled -->
  <option name="tabFontSizeEnabled" value="false" />
  <!-- Tab height -->
  <option name="tabsHeight" value="50" />
  <!-- Uppercase buttons -->
  <option name="uppercaseButtons" value="true" />
  <!-- Bold and uppercase tabs enabled -->
  <option name="upperCaseTabs" value="false" />
  <!-- Material fonts enabled -->
  <option name="useMaterialFont2" value="false" />
  <!-- Material UI icons enabled -->
  <option name="useMaterialIcons" value="true" />
  <!-- Project view decorators (Hollow Folders) enabled-->
  <option name="useProjectViewDecorators" value="true" />

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’ve installed the Material Theme, but the editor still shows me the Darcula theme?

A: The Theme Switcher is only replacing the theme of the whole IDE, not the editor itself. You can therefore have a separate theme for the IDE and the Editor, for instance Palenight and Darker or even a custom Color Scheme.

Q: I’ve updated the IDE/plugin to a new version and now I get an error about the plugin failing to initialize?

A: It could come from multiple issues, but it could simply be a problem with the settings not being compatible to the new version. In that case, simply make a copy of the settings file, then delete the original file, and restart the IDE.

If the issue is gone, simply go back to the settings and go back to your previous configuration manually. If the issue persists, please report it in the Issues Section.

Q: I’ve removed the plugin, and still the background image persists!

A: This is an issue hard to resolve, because the Custom Wallpaper function is using the Set Background image function from the IDE behind the curtains. Therefore, removing the plugin might not remove the set image completely. If that occurs, you can remove the image by opening the Command Panel (Cmd-Shift-A/Ctrl-Shift-A) and type Set Background image and then manually remove the image, or go into Settings -> Appearance -> Background Image.

Q: The dark title bar on Mac sticks as well! Update: since version 2.5.0, it doesn’t!

A: As for the Mac Title bar, it is triggered using the IDE Registry. Just open the Command Palette (Cmd-Shift-A) and type Registry. Then you will see at the top the edited values. Simply press Revert to those you don’t want. Update 2.5.0: The Dark Title Bar option is now moved inside the Appearance panel of the IDE, named Dark Window Headers (and currently contains the same problems as above). However, a new option Themed Title Bar have taken its place in the Material Theme Settings and allows to completely theme the title bar. However it also overrides the Dark Window Headers setting.

Q: What is that analytics option? What data are collected?

A: This is an option to allow sending data to Material Theme servers about users’ configuration, usage and trends. These analytics will allow us to see which features are most used or least used, in order to prioritize development of features, or maybe notify users about specific features, to provide a better satisfaction. These data are completely anonymous, and are not shared/sold to any third parties. If you want to stop sending data, simply turn off the option in the material_theme.xml.

Q: The wizard idea was great! But I’ve made an error and the wizard won’t show up anymore!

A: The wizard will show only once and only when you don’t have the isWizardShown option set to true in the config file. But you can reopen it by simply clicking on the action from the Material Theme Toolbar, in the Features menu.

Q: My settings are not persisted between my IDEs!

A: Yes, this is because third-party plugins are not (yet) synchronizeable by the Sync Settings feature. Therefore you need to configure each IDE independently. However, since Look and Feels ARE synchronized, this can lead to inconsistencies between the look and feels, like for instance having Darcula instead of your chosen theme.

As a result, it is recommended to not rely too much on the Sync feature for now. Configure the two instances independently and try not to change settings too often.